Elvis Costello has announced the cancellation of two gigs in Israel, as a protest of the country’s treatment of Palestinians.
Writing on Elviscostello.com, the singer said he feared that playing the gigs in Caesarea on June 30 and July 1 could be seen as him supporting the country’s government.
“Then there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent,” Costello wrote.
He added: “I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.
“Sometimes a silence in music is better than adding to the static and so an end to it. I cannot imagine receiving another invitation to perform in Israel, which is a matter of regret, but I can imagine a better time when I would not be writing this.”
Costello isn’t the first musician to deliberate over playing the country. Gil Scott-Heron and Carlos Santana are among the artists to have cancelled gigs at protest towards the government, although Paul McCartney played there in 2008.